otter species in singapore

The two common species of otters in Singapore are the. “Asian Countries Propose Bans on Commercial Trade in Otters.” NRDC. Still, otter experts believe the anger is an overreaction and that the creatures are likely just enjoying the extra freedom to venture to new places. "They probably realised that there was nobody there and became more daring," Low told entertainment news website 8 DAYS. There are estimated to be about 90 otters in Singapore, making up 10 families, and appearances at popular tourist sites around the city-state´s downtown waterfront have transformed them into local celebrities. Two otter families in Singapore got into an epic gang fight in the portion of the canal that cuts through Braddell near Bishan. Smooth-coated ones grow up to 1.2m long and 11kg in weight. The smooth-coated otters are believed to have swum across the Johor Straits from Malaysia to the north side of Singapore in 1998, before deciding to make the island their home. Many of these enthusiasts have produced well-edited videos that vividly relay relatable stories about the otter populations in Singapore. The otters´ more frequent forays onto the streets of Singapore are part of a global trend triggered by virus lockdowns, with animals increasingly slipping cover to explore the streets of some of the world´s biggest cities. hello@kontinentalist.com. Abstract Four species of otters have been recorded from Malaysia and Singapore in the past: Lutra lutra (Common or Eurasian Otter), Lutra sumatrana (Hairy-nosed Otter), Lutrogale perspicillata (Smooth Otter) and Amblonyx cinereus (Oriental Small-clawed Otter). January 10, and 2019 Paul Todd. Sea otters are the exception, giving birth in … With the streets empty, the creatures have been spotted hanging out by a shopping centre, scampering through the lobby of a hospital and even feasting on pricey fish stolen from a pond. Today there are otter families across the island, even in the heart of downtown Singapore. While Singapore is home to two species of otters — the smooth-coated otter and the small-clawed otter — only the former is popularly known and spotted across the island. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/330349070_Observations_of_the_Variation_in_Group_Structure_of_two_Urban_Smooth-Coated_Otter_Lutrogale_perspicillata_Groups_in_the_Central_Watershed_of_Singapore. He also said many recent sightings were likely of the same family of smooth-coated otters, which have been searching for a new home along the city´s rivers. Group Bull. Much of MNS’ knowledge on otters comes from operating the Kuala Selangor park for over 30 years, where three of the four otter species in Malaysia are kept. This species of lesser mouse-deer is unique to Singapore, but don’t be surprised if you don’t see it. NUS´s Sivasothi criticised calls for a cull as "quite an uneducated response", and said such a move would be ineffective. Kathy writes marine and environmental stories at Kontinentalist. There are two species of otters here - … Because of this, many otter species have suffered population declines throughout the world. Academics like assistant professor Philip Johns of Yale–NUS College’s Life Sciences Department are also looking to encourage citizen science by building a mobile app that allows anyone to easily upload high quality videos of the otters from their mobile phones. Encouraging good wildlife ethics, along with public involvement in research and monitoring of the species, helps the ongoing conservation and management of otters in Singapore. The case sparked a debate about whether more should be done to stop otters rampaging through the city, with a widely discussed letter in a local newspaper calling for air horns and rubber bullets to be used as deterrents. Population Structure, Distribution, and Habitat Use of Smooth-Coated Otters Lutrogale perspicillata in Singapore . Otter groups here told The New Paper that they get messages from fans across the globe asking where to find the animals if they were to visit Singapore. The two common species of otters in Singapore are the smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) and the small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus). There is scant information on the sea otter, which is only found in the coastal waters of northern Japan. The current WABA review is addressing this. One of the first male otters sighted in the Marina Bay family was suspected to have been poisoned. There are two species of otters currently present here. Fans believe people should be celebrating the return of an animal that was driven out of Singapore by coastal development and water pollution around the 1970s, and only started reappearing in the 1990s as waterways were cleaned. The emergence of the Bishan otter family, along with several other otter families, has been hailed by The Economist as a sign of the success of Singapore's greening policy. Take a walk on the wild side in Singapore, and you will find that one of the most adaptable immigrant wildlife species has made the island’s waterway systems its home, booming in number over the years. Accessed March 4, 2019. “Ottercity Facebook Page.” Ottercity Facebook Home. The Wild Animals and Birds Act (WABA) protects wildlife, but the law requires evidence of the act, which can make things difficult when preventive action is required. How do otters survive in a highly urbanised city state like Singapore? Though Singapore's landscape has rapidly urbanised over the past 50 years, the highly adaptable smooth-coated otter continues to exist and perhaps even thrive here, as sightings of it have increased over the last decade 12. While many think of tiny Singapore as a densely populated concrete jungle, it is also relatively green for a busy Asian city, and has patches of rainforest, fairly clean waterways and abundant wildlife. Smooth-coated otters are not fussy eaters, and they tend to eat whatever is available where they are. Meanwhile, zoologist Chan Yik Khan said without historic data, it is hard to tell what led to … 35 (3): 171 - 182. However, the adorable small-clawed otters, smaller in size than their smooth-coated counterparts, have also been highly trafficked in Southeast Asia, according to a report by wildlife conservation organisation Traffic. http://www.otter.org/audioSamples/AsianSmallClawedOtter.mp3. Otter enthusiasts have also set up their own Facebook pages, such as Ottercity, to spot and track their movements. They featured in a documentary narrated by David Attenborough, are tracked avidly by the local media -- and have been spotted more frequently since people were asked to stay home and workplaces closed in April to fight the virus. Few urbanites have seen an otter. Two otter species occur in Singapore. Otters are the subject of interest for many in Singapore, and a ground-up initiative to create a crowdsourced database on them—which you can add to!—has been completed. Though education alone is not enough to change behaviours around our wildlife, several impassioned otter watchers have been volunteering their services to help new otter watchers stay mindful of their subjects—a heartening gesture. They are the more familiar ones here and have been … IUCN Otter Spec. Experiencing information fatigue? Although there can be overlaps in size with the cubs of larger specie… "Wild boars have never been encouraged to enter urban areas, neither should otters be just because they look cute," wrote Ong Junkai in the correspondence to the Straits Times, which triggered calls from some for a cull. According to Sivasothi, otters are social species, and they almost always travel together in families. These smallest of 13 otter species in the world are social and playful animals. Distribution of the otter families in Singapore (Data source: Khoo, M de Yuan and Sivasothi, N (2018)b. The otter population in Singapore was initially thought extinct between the 1960s and 1970s, but sightings in the 1990s confirmed their presence in the Sungei Buloh wetlands area. Their diet consists of fish, frogs, crabs, turtles etc. For National University of Singapore biologist Sivasothi N, the arrival of the Singapore otter—and its popularity among residents—is a welcome development. In-depth stories about Asia and more delivered straight to your inbox every month. With local communities, the group monitors otter populations and movement in Singapore to resolve issues and protect the species. Lone otters are typically males in search of a group, and the size of these groups varies according to what different environments can provide. Thanks to the Singapore River clean up in 1977, its ecological conditions and biodiversity have proven ideal for supporting otters—a far cry from our once oxygen-starved waterways. Only 40 to 60 remain – the main problem is loss of habitat and food with many of its food species also endangered. Asian Small Clawed Otter Sound Clip, International Otter Survival Fund. There are currently an estimated 10 families of otters in Singapore, numbering around 70 otters in total. Critically, the fish species that otters rely on as sources of food need to thrive in Singapore’s waterways for the otters to remain. Otters eat about 15 to 25 percent of their body weight each day. SINGAPORE: Singapore's otters, long adored by the city-state's nature lovers, are popping up in unexpected places during the coronavirus lockdown but their antics have angered some and even sparked calls for a cull. Most of Singapore´s otters are the smooth-coated variety, classified as "vulnerable". Housing one of the world’s largest collections of freshwater fauna, the park features over 6,000 animals including 40 threatened species. The smooth-coated otters were residents in the Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve in 1998, and the small-clawed otters have been around Pulau Tekong since the 1980s. Announcement 1 of 2: Night Safari is open every day from 19 Nov 2020 to 17 Jan 2021, as well as eve of and on public holidays. “Distinguishing Features between Asian Small-Clawed Otters and Smooth-Coated Otters,” March 5, 2019. … The Raffles banded langur is only found in Singapore’s Central Catchment Nature Reserve and in Johor (Malaysia); it feeds on leaves and fruits. October 19, 2020, 05:57 PM JJ Lin hosting YouTube live with celebrity friends on … (Oriental Small-clawed Otter). These otters are surprisingly intelligent, able to climb out of drains and travel across large patches of land to get to other waterways. We won't be giving details to protect it but we would like to share with you what an Asian Small-clawed Otter roaming Singapore looks like. There are laws against the trapping and killing of otters in Singapore. One of the few wildlife species well-adapted to urban environments, otters are popular enough in the Garden City to be featured in David Attenborough’s Wild City documentary about Singapore in 2015, as well as in BBC Earth’s Wild Cities in 2019. Singapore has two species of otters. https://www.bfm.my/dr-philip-johns-smooth-coated-otters-singapore.html. https://www.iucnosgbull.org/Volume35/Khoo_Sivasothi_2018b.html, https://www.researchgate.net/publication/308317517_The_Smooth-Coated_Otter_Lutrogale_perspicillata_Mammalia_Mustelidae_in_Singapore_Establishment_and_Expansion_in_Natural_and_Semi-Urban_Environments. When the animals first reappeared in Singapore’s waterways, they were so unknown to most that “people thought that they could be beavers or seals,” says Sivasothi, who launched the website OtterWatch to help educate … In December 2017, a five-year-old girl on holiday in Singapore with her family was bitten by an otter near Gardens by the Bay. In Sentosa Cove, a luxury district in an island off Singapore’s southern coast, residents have found the otters a problem. They include the larger and more common smooth-coated otter Lutrogale perspicillataand this species which is cat-sized when fully grown. “Otters of the World.” Discover Wildlife. Smooth-coated ones grow up to 1.2m long and 11kg in weight. Announcement 1 of 4: Night Safari is open every day from 19 Nov 2020 to 17 Jan 2021, as well as eve of and on public holidays. Want to know the remaining 5 most threatened species in Singapore? The otters of Singapore have proven flexible in adapting quickly to an urbanised landscape, having had to cope with very little space to dry off their fur. Four species of otters have been recorded from Malaysia and Singapore in the past: Lutra lutra (Common or Eurasian Otter), Lutra sumatrana (Hairy-nosed Otter), Lutrogale perspicillata (Smooth Otter) and Amblonyx cinereus (Oriental Small-clawed Otter). Local scientist Meryl Theng who contributed to an international. Did you know that wild otters are often sighted in Singapore? India, Bangladesh, and the Philippines have submitted proposals for a ban on the international trade of Asian small-clawed otters and smooth-coated otters. “Phylogeography of the Smooth-Coated Otter (Lutrogale Perspicillata): Distinct Evolutionary Lineages and Hybridization with the Asian Small-Clawed Otter (Aonyx Cinereus).” Scientific Reports 7 (January 27, 2017): 1–13. ). Singapore has two species of otters. Yet in Singapore, the most urbanized country in the world, commuters … The smooth-coated otter is currently classified as a critically endangered species in Singapore, and until 1998 there had been no reported sightings since the 1970s. IUCN Otter Spec. The animals enter their private but open ponds and feed on the expensive pet fish within, such as tilapia and koi. There are two species of otters in SG – smooth-coated otters and Asian small-clawed otters. It is a mammal, often spotted in our mangroves, mudflats and coastal areas, where it forages for clams, fish, and other small creatures. This species … The smooth-coated otters were residents in the Sungei Buloh Wetlands Reserve in 1998, and the small-clawed otters have been around Pulau Tekong since the 1980s. But their newfound freedoms appear to have emboldened the otters, and they are now facing a backlash. These sightings are of much delight to conservationists, as the presence of otters usually signals the health of the waters they are seen in. “BFM: The Business Radio Station - Citizen Science and the Case Study of Smooth-Coated Otters in Singapore.” Accessed January 4, 2019. International Otter Survival Fund.” Accessed March 1, 2019. “IUCN/SSC Otter Specialist Group Bulletin Volume 35 Issue 3 (2018).” Accessed January 14, 2019. Accessed January 14, 2019. “Observations of the Variation in Group Structure of Two Urban Smooth-Coated Otter Lutrogale Perspicillata Groups in the Central Watershed of Singapore.” ResearchGate. Fewer still have seen a “romp” of them. (Oriental Small-clawed Otter). Otters need space to rest and sleep, and especially to dry their fur off after a hunting swim—this helps them maintain the waterproofing ability of their fur before they return to the water again. The resulting offspring and their descendants bred back into the smooth-coated otter population, but maintained the genes of their small-clawed otter ancestors. That said, the Natural Resource Defense Council (NRDC), an American environmental organisation with global reach, says that enforcement at the species level has not been carried out thoroughly. The two common species of otters in Singapore are the smooth-coated otter (Lutrogale perspicillata) and the small-clawed otter (Aonyx cinereus). Local scientist Meryl Theng who contributed to an international paper on the population movement of otters, brought this to light. Otterwatch, another Facebook group focused on otters, was set up in 2012 by the National University of Singapore’s N. Sivasothi to help support several student projects with otters. The rise of citizen science has also created an even wider pool of data on otter observations and documentation of species behaviour, with groups like the Otter Working Group actively helping in the management and rescue of otters. The small-clawed otter and smooth-coated otter can be found in Singapore. 35 (3): 171 – 182 Key words: population census, urban adapter, mammal, conservation management, citizen science INTRODUCTION Of the four Asian species of otters, the This file photo shows members of a wild otter family called "Bishan10" in Singapore's Kallang Basin area. Download the full report . Accessed February 28, 2019. Smooth-Coated Otters in Singapore Sound Recording by Philip Johns. https://www.discoverwildlife.com/animal-facts/mammals/otters-of-the-world/. Otters are members of the weasel family (Mustelidae), and while there are several other species of mustelids in Southeast Asia, such as hog badgers, ferret-badgers, the Yellow-throated Marten, and several weasels, otters are the only representatives of this family in Singapore. Accessed March 6, 2019. Theng, Meryl, and Sivasothi N. “The Smooth-Coated Otter Lutrogale Perspicillata (Mammalia: Mustelidae) in Singapore: Establishment and Expansion in Natural and Semi-Urban Environments.” IUCN/SCC Otter Specialist Group Bulletin 33 (January 1, 2016): 37–49. Residents have erected fences to keep them out, but nature conservationists note that these fences, deployed neither adequately or appropriately, have been effective at stopping otters adapted to surviving in the urban environment. 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